'Football hooligans will surely target supporters of the French football team'
The other day, in the bus, I got up to give my seat to an elderly woman. She responded by saying, in front of everyone, “I don’t need your help – you’re black!” Another elderly woman said the same thing when I tried to help her cross a street.A few days ago I went to the bank. I was waiting in line behind two Ukrainian people. When my turn came, the bank teller closed the counter and said it was time for her break, when a timer in plain view showed that she still had 10 minutes left before her break. I tried to insist, but she said, smiling, that she was tired and that I would have to come back later. This sort of treatment occurs on a regular basis for black people.Racism is at its worst, though, in football. I myself was beat up after playing in a football game with other Ukrainians, even though I had been invited by a friend. Football hooligans will surely target supporters of the French football team [because the team includes many black and Arab players]. It will be dangerous to go out in the streets if France wins the European football championship.
'Students show each other photos or videos of monkeys on their phones, and compare them to my African friends and I'
I’ve gotten into the habit of sitting at the back of the classroom so that nobody can make fun of me behind my back. I’ve often seen other students showing each other photos or videos of monkeys on their phones. Then they snap a picture of us and compare us to the monkeys, which makes them all laugh. [Read our story about a Ukrainian newspaper that published photos of monkeys to depict black and Arab people].I had to change gyms after someone tried to colour my skin white with the chalk used for weight training. The contrast of the white chalk on my black skin seemed to amuse everyone. For me, it was simply humiliating."I will watch the football championship on my computer. It will be much too dangerous for black people to go into the streets"When you’re black, you get stopped by the police all the time. At the beach, the police ask you to show them your identity papers, when all you’re doing is swimming in the water with your friends. The last time I took the train with a Ukrainian friend, a policeman asked to see my passport. He didn’t ask my friend.I will watch the football championship on my computer. Definitely not in any bar! It will be much too dangerous for black people to go out into the streets on game nights.